Bridlington Castleburn

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Questionable Siege Work

There are no visible remains

NameBridlington Castleburn
Alternative NamesCastilburne
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityEast Riding of Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishBridlington

The lost Hundred of Huntow, near Bridlington, has its name restricted now to three farm houses, and its moot hill, nearly hidden by high hedges and ash trees, is to be found in a small pasture field at the end of the narrow lane leading past the gas-works, between Bridlington and the Quay. It is rather peculiar in construction, having two long straight parallel banks of earth, one behind the other, on the east side of the hill proper, for what purpose I know not. Mt Thos. Holderness of Driffield, to whom I am much indebted, says that this hill is protected by a long ditch and rampart on the seaward side. (Nicholson)

The port and harbour of Bridlington were granted to the Priory by King Stephen c 1135; this became the focus for Bridlington Quay, a separate settlement to the market town. A possible defensive site has been suggested as existing in this area, largely based on the fact that Bridlington Quay was referred to between the 13th and early 16th centuries as Castleburn. (Brigham et al, 2008)

Gatehouse Comments

In a letter to a local paper Bryan Waites suggests, on the bases of the place name Castleburn and the comment by him that the hill was 'man made', that this was the site of a castle. The suggestion that the 'man made' features represent a castle site are very weak as this is an area that has had several hundred years of urban development. However, this is not impossible as the site of a small timber castle on the site of an earlier Saxon moot which rapidly lost function and could be dispensed with by 1135. Equally the castle name may just represent a continuation of the site as having some administrative function, but without defences, into the post-Conquest period. A final alternative is it represented some siege work associated with the 1143 warfare in the area between William Albemarle, Earl of York and Gilbert de Gant, Earl of Lincoln (see Bridlington Priory.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA182667
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 531
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 117
  • Nicholson, J., 1884, Folk Moots: A Paper Read Before the Hull Literary Club, November 5, 1883 (Driffield) p. 15-16


  • Waites, Bryan, 1986 Oct, 'Unearthing a castle mystery' Bridlington Free Press (letter to the editor)

Primary Sources

  • Lancaster, W.T., 1912, Abstracts of the charters and other documents contained in the chartulary of the priory of Bridlington in the East Riding of the county of York (Leeds: J. Whitehead and Son) p. 18-20 online copy


  • Brigham, T., Burglass, J. and George, R., 2008, Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Phase 2. Bempton to Donna Nook. Part 2 Gazetteer and maps (Humber Archaeology Report 325) p. 45 online copy
  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online